On September 24, 2010, an 18-year-old collapsed on her way into a classroom at Elon University in Pennsylvania. Just a few hours later, the young woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Michelle Pfleger was taking Yaz as a way to treat her acne. Her mother says it was the birth control pill that finally led to Pfleger’s death, a Pendulum article reports.
A LeHigh Valley Live article reported that the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner blames a blood clot in Pfleger’s lung for her untimely death. However, the article was careful to note that the office did not make a link between Yaz and the woman’s death.
Pfleger was treated for a common knee injury just one day before she died, the LeHigh Valley News reported. Joan Cummins, Michele’s mother, told the reporters, “There’s just really no reason that a healthy young woman who had a knee injury would have developed this.” She further mentioned that Michele was on the pill as an acne treatment, which the FDA has warned is not an approved use for it.
A woman in Switzerland recently died from a blood clot in her lung correlating with her taking of Yaz or Yasmin. Lawsuits against Bayer over the series of birth control pills threaten to top 30,000, some analysts say, before the end of the litigation process.
Cummins had not even suspected Yaz as a potential culprit in her daughter’s sudden death. After close friends suggested she look into other cases where women have died from taking Yaz and Yasmin, Cummins started collecting evidence linking Yaz with an increased risk of blood clots.
The first of thousands of lawsuits is set to begin in September 2011.
Dodson, Jack. (November 4, 2010) “Pfleger’s mother plans to sue contraceptive company Yaz.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the Elon University Pendulum.
LeHigh Valley News Staff. (October 31, 2010) “Risk Warning.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the LeHigh Valley News.
Quigley, Tom and Kurt Bresswein. (October 31, 2010) “Mother of the late Michelle Pfleger asserts contraceptive contributed to her daughter’s death.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from the LeHigh Valley Live.